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The Rose, the Knife, and the Forest

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Somewhere in the North-East of England, there's a forest. This forest has no name, and doesn't seem to exist on any maps. This isn't the only thing that is strange, however. Every time there is a full moon over the forest, the whole area is blanketed by a dense fog.

The Path

If the forest is entered by a female on a night such as this, a strange path is visible. It is impossible to miss, provided they spend enough time walking deeper into the forest. If you come across this path, I have a few warnings, should you choose to follow it:

1. Carry a sharp knife and a red rose IN THE SAME HAND the whole time, until I tell you otherwise.

2. As you follow the path, you will begin to hear a faint rustling noise, and you will feel..."watched"..."exposed"…"curious"...Whatever you do, DON'T LOOK IN THE DIRECTION THE NOISE IS COMING FROM!

3. From when you start following the path, NEVER LOOK UP. Never, I can not stress that enough. You know that feeling mentioned above that you're being "watched"? it is largely due to something right above you...also, you might want to avoid reaching around above you or jumping during this little expedition.

4. Try to follow the path without thinking about it. If the path remains in the forefront of your mind, then you will never escape, and it will take you.

5. Don't stop walking for any reason, don't run, don't hop, don't skip. Just walk, calmly.

The Ritual

After some time (provided you followed the rules above) you should notice that the path has gone. At this point you will only be able to see about 15 yards in front of you. The rustling noise will have become louder and more dominant. Do not pay attention to where it is coming from or try to see what's in the fog. The rustling sound and the feeling of being "watched" will seem to come from everywhere. It will appear to be closing in. Do not panic. Remember those items I told you to hold? Use the knife to cut horizontally across your wrist. Then, whilst the wound is still bleeding, allow your blood to drip onto the red rose. Place the rose gently onto the ground. Throughout this ritual you must not let go of either item until you place the rose on the ground. You may not let go of the knife.

The Figure

After performing this ritual you will begin to see a figure in the distance. The rustling and feeling of impending doom will appear to subside. As the figure draws closer, its features will become more apparent. It will have glowing yellow eyes, no nose, and a wide grin, with long, thin, teeth. At the end of each of its crooked hands will be razor-sharp claws. It will also bear similar claws (albeit slightly shorter) on its feet. Its skin will be pitch black, appearing rough, cold, unforgiving. If it is NOT this creature, pick up the rose, turn around and run! Run and do not look back, hold the rose close to your heart and pray that it doesn't catch you! Don't stop running until you find the path again, and follow it. You must repeat the ritual.

If it IS the figure above, then do not run away. You have four options here:

1. Present the Rose.

2. Present the Knife.

3. Do not present anything.

4. Present both.

The Rose

Discard the knife, bow, pick up the rose, and present it to the being. It will accept the rose and give you a kiss…on the lips. Not an incredibly passionate one, but it could still be considered intimate. Whatever you do, don’t attempt to stop the kiss or show any signs of disgust whatsoever. When the kiss is over it will give the rose back to you, and the wound on your wrist will have healed, leaving a permanent scar in its place. The figure will then leave.

The Knife

Discard the rose, and present the knife to the being. It will take the knife, and cut its wrist in the same way that you cut yours. It will then insert the knife into the wound on your wrist. Whatever you do, don't give any signal that you are in pain. No crying! After about five seconds (although it will seem a lot longer than that to you) it will remove the knife and run the tip of the blade along the wound's opening. Your wound will heal instantly, leaving a permanent scar in its place. The being will then give you the knife back and leave.

Give Nothing

The figure will become enraged at the fact that you have nothing to offer it, so it will paralyze you with its fearsome glare and carry your body to an unknown destination. You will fall unconscious on the way there. When you wake up you will be in the last place you slept, completely naked with severe scratch marks all over your back and breasts, with a feeling of extreme exhaustion. Nine months later you will give birth to a child, and two weeks after that the child will vanish. You will never be able to find the path again. You will live the rest of your life with eternal exhaustion, eventually meeting a slow, painful end at the hands of the one you love most.

Present Both

The being will take both and turn around. Do not look around him to see what he is doing. He will turn back to face you, and present a long staff that resembles a large, red rose. Take the staff and he will leave.

After The Being Leaves

Provided you gave him something, you can now leave, as the path has reappeared behind you to lead you back out. Don't follow the being who just gave you your item.

The Path - Part 2

Follow the path, no rustling sounds will distract you, the fog will slowly clear, and you can safely leave the forest.

After Leaving The Forest

At this point it will be safe to look up. If you gave the rose to the being, then you should be treated to a clear view of the full moon. If you gave the knife to the being in the forest, the sun should start to rise. If you gave the being both, then the sun will be right overhead. Take your "souvenir" and point it at the sun/moon (depending on the time of day) and say the following: "Roses are red, Violets are blue, I've been blessed by a demon, and now so have you."

If you picked the rose, the moon will turn red, and will remain that way for the rest of the night. As long as there is a red moon in the sky, you will have supernatural abilities such as:

1. Transformation

2. Invisibility

3. Flight

4. The Ability To Walk Through Walls

The rose itself will be allow you to visit people's dreams.

If you picked the knife, the sun will turn to a very dark violet-red, and will remain that way for the rest of the day. While the sun is in this state you will be completely invulnerable and you can erase people's memories. The knife can be used as an effective weapon, as it is enchanted, and a single strike from this weapon will kill anything.

If you picked the staff, the sky will turn a crimson red for 24 hours. During this time, you have all of the abilities stated above, but if you let go of the staff whilst using any of these abilities you will die.

Depending on which item you obtained, you may do this any day, as long as the sun/moon is in the specified positions.

It is possible to obtain all three items provided they are obtained on separate visits.

It is rumored, however, that an even greater treasure may be obtained.

The Riddle

I was exploring this very forest a while ago and I found a stone tablet that said the following.

"Go forth, without hesitation, doubt, or regret. Go forth, and show me that you are not afraid. Go forth, and prove to me that you are worthy."

I am not entirely sure what this means. However the tablet continues. "If you have darkness in your heart, you shall be taken, if you are impure, you shall die."

I wanted to ask anyone out there that could help me solve this riddle. If anyone knows exactly what I have to do to "prove myself worthy" please tell me.

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